Energy plan can 'break the cycle' of oil dependence, Obama says
March 16th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Energy plan can 'break the cycle' of oil dependence, Obama says

Washington (CNN) – Using revenue collected from drilling on public lands to fund alternative energy research will help Americans break their dependence on oil, President Barack Obama predicted in his weekly address on Saturday.

He was speaking in Lemont, Illinois, where on Friday he laid out his plan at a laboratory conducting green energy research.

"After years of talking about it, we're finally poised to take control of our energy future," Obama said in his address, pointing to increased oil production in the United States and the higher percentage of energy that now comes from renewable sources.

Despite the progress, Obama noted the recent spike in gas prices, calling it a "serious blow" to family budgets.

"The only way we're going to break this cycle of spiking gas prices for good is to shift our cars and trucks off of oil for good," Obama said.

His plan pledges to put money earned through increased royalties from oil and gas drilling on federal land to fund alternative fuel research.

"We can support scientists who are designing new engines that are more energy efficient; developing cheaper batteries that go farther on a single charge; and devising new ways to fuel our cars and trucks with new sources of clean energy – like advanced biofuels and natural gas – so drivers can one day go coast-to-coast without using a drop of oil," Obama said.

In his address, the president advocated producing more oil and gas domestically as well as biofuels, solar power and wind power.

Obama has faced criticism from Republicans who say he's dragging his feet in approving the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada to Texas.

In 2012, Obama delayed approval of the pipeline until after the election. He's expected to make a final decision sometime this summer. A recent State Department report found that the project would not adversely impact the environment.

On Friday, a White House spokesman said the plan Obama laid out in Illinois would have a far greater impact on securing America's energy independence than the Keystone pipeline.

"There have been thousands of miles of pipelines that have been built while President Obama has been in office, and I think the point is, is that it hasn't necessarily had a significant impact one way or the other on addressing climate change," White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.


Filed under: Energy • President Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    Dream on Mr. Obama. When are you and your equally clueless flunkies going to start taking América's situation seriously.

    In América, we can still hope, RIGHT?!

    March 16, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  2. Suemac in WA

    Why not use the royalties to fund maintenance and improvements to our public park system? At least on a temporary basis until they are brought up to a standard? Our national parks are our treasures that deserve to be protected.

    March 16, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  3. @RI_Roger

    The President keeps talking about how we, the American people need to be less dependent on fossil fuels; when does he quit burning significcant amounts of fossil fuel campaigning, vacationing and taking long weekend seperate get-aways. Does any know how much fossil fuel is expended each time Air Force One, Marine One, the 3 supporting F16 cover jets, 2 supporting C130 Cargo planes carrying the 15 Limos and SUV's as well as the fuel to support the motorcade and supporting local law enforcement to secure the route? And don't forget if the Vice President and other First Family events that typically travel seperately.
    I find it appauling that we need to be frugal with our travel and he is so waste fuel, as well as inconsiderate to the impact of the environment and his contribution to global warming. I'm sure he and his cronies have an answer as well as someone else to blame.

    March 16, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  4. Jonquil

    Good job, Mr. President. Americans are sick of prices shooting up, even while demand falls and the excuse is that our World always has turmoil in it. Bull. It's arm-twisting and we're not going to take it anymore. For those who yell that we need to remain totally at the mercy of the oil industry for our society's daily bread, pay attention: Having an alternative, particularly, an alternative that lowers our public costs, is not a bad thing. Oil companies might actually have to compete, for the first time since whale oil. Be wise, America.

    March 16, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  5. GI Joe

    Start with the funds that are collected in Alaska. It's a form of socialism for them to hand every person $1500 or more per year from oil when no other state does that.

    March 16, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  6. Marie MD

    I am with you Mr. President but what are all those congressmen and big oil companies going to do without any money?

    March 16, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  7. RINO Bill

    It's not going to happen as long as BIG OIL has the balls of every Republican in the House and Senate in their pockets.

    March 16, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  8. shuman

    Natural gas is the logical alternative to gasoline for transportation fuels at present.

    March 16, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  9. tillman

    Yep, just like Nixon, Ford, Carter, Regan, Bush, Clinton, Bush all promised. With Obama's background in engineering I'm sure he will, by himself invent a new form of clean energy.....or maybe just make a few photo-opts, and cliche' filled stump speeches.

    March 16, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Pete

    President boondoggle?

    March 16, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. James Bond

    Good luck on this one, theese guys spent a butt load of money at repub superpacs, and i mean a bunch, but how will we know who and how much, dont you think its important to know who is funding certain movements, projects, and campaign donations. is it not frustrating to have pressure being applied and have no legal way to find out. would you not want to know who is your candidate working for, lets not insult ourselves thinking that it is the taxpayer, mother goose tried to trace apolitical ad, it went trough post office boxes in forty different states, and ultimately could not be traced, thats no accident

    March 16, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Thomas

    Go for it , we were once the leader in innovation .

    Then we had Reagan , he took the solar panels off the roof , went back to big oil.

    March 16, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. Richard Long

    "Despite the progress, Obama noted the recent spike in gas prices, calling it a "serious blow" to family budgets."
    = less disposable income -> less spending -> economic stagnation rather than growth

    Different angle
    = more expensive to ship goods -> compensate with higher prices -> customers have less disposable income -> less spending -> economic stagnation rather than growth

    How about this angle
    = more expensive to produce and ship goods -> any money brought in is just to keep running -> no hiring -> no disposable income-> less spending -> economic stagnation rather than growth

    NOPE. We need to focus on energy programs that have not worked in four years during unfavorable economic times.

    March 16, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. Larry L

    Conservatives turn a blind eye to climate change – choosing to simply pretend it's not happening. The scientific debate is over and the world's scientists strongly validate the models for catastrophic events. The "scientific" opposition is now limited to a few oil company "science-criminals" and Rush Limbaugh – a moron. If science doesn't provide enough proof the Fox news drones can simply look out the window at weather events they see with their own eyes. We worry about the world the deficit might create but ignore the certainty of a crisis likely to decimate much of the population.

    March 16, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |